This article originally appeared in the Silicon Valley Leadership Group i San Jose, CA on October 14th, 2021
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation today announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Sonu Ratra, the co-founder and President of IT consulting and talent solutions provider Akraya, as well as the founder of Women Back to Work. Ratra is the first woman and person of color to lead the SVLG Foundation.
“Food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education are considered necessities — yet for many in the Silicon Valley, they remain out of reach. For the past 20 years, the SVLG Foundation has donated more than 20 million dollars to charities that address these inequalities and to create more resilient communities throughout the region, and so I am deeply honored to serve as the Chairwoman on the Foundation Board. I will be working alongside my esteemed Board colleagues and Foundation staff to continue our mission to make a measurable impact in communities,” said Sonu Ratra, Co-Founder of Akraya and Founder of Women Back to Work, and the newly appointed Chairwoman of the SVLG Foundation.
The SVLG Foundation, established in 2002, works to improve the quality of life for communities across Silicon Valley by raising and distributing funds for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and other needs. CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Executive Director of the SVLG Foundation, Ahmad Thomas welcomed Ratra and pointed to the continuing focus on underserved groups in the region.
“The SVLG Foundation is delighted to welcome an incredibly dynamic and diverse leader in Sonu Ratra as our new Chairwoman of the Board,” said Ahmad Thomas. “Under the guidance of Sonu and our Foundation Board members, we remain committed to giving back and meeting the needs of our less fortunate neighbors in Silicon Valley — work that has only grown more urgent as the pandemic continues to disportionately impact marginalized communities across the region.”
The Foundation focuses on providing financial and promotional assistance to charities, business and community leaders, scholars, and other groups that support its mission. Chris Weiler, Race Director at SVLG Foundation, noted the significant amount raised to date for charities serving critical needs – both long and short term.
“We are truly proud that SVLG Foundation’s signature event, the annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, to date has donated more than $10 million to benefit local charitable organizations,” said Weiler. “This includes the Healthier Kids Foundation, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County and The Health Trust. These are fantastic, dedicated organizations that do so tremendous good in our community. At SVLG Foundation we’re proud to help do our part so that they can continue to do theirs.”
The Foundation’s next major event will be the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot – which will run a fully virtual race during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This year’s all-virtual Turkey Trot will feature thousands of entrants who will design their own courses and run, walk, or jog their 5K or 10K anytime between November 25th and 28th.
About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. The Board is a group of dedicated business and community leaders from Silicon Valley, and it works closely with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. For more information, please visit: svlg.org/foundation.